International Trade

  • December 19, 2014

    Obama Says He Won't Sanction Russia Under New Law

    President Barack Obama on Thursday signed a new law that allows the U.S. to provide weapons and drones to Ukraine and opens the door to further sanctions in the Russian defense, banking and energy sectors in connection with the ongoing conflict in the region — an option he said he didn’t plan to use.

  • December 19, 2014

    Fed. Circ. Shoots Down Challenge To HVAC Customs Suit

    The Federal Circuit on Friday denied Belimo Automation AG's bid to earn a lower tariff on its imports of heating and cooling system components, affirming the U.S. Court of International Trade's decision that the products were correctly deemed to be electric motors.

  • December 19, 2014

    Wal-Mart Accused Of Ignoring Order To Give Up Bribery Files

    Investors in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have called for sanctions against the company for ignoring a court order to turn over all relevant internal files on what its directors knew about the possibility its officials handed out bribes in exchange for helping it set up shop in Mexico.

  • December 19, 2014

    CIT Pauses Anti-Dumping Liquidation Of Korean Oil Pipes

    The Court of International Trade on Thursday sided with a group of South Korean steel pipe producers, enjoining the U.S. Department of Commerce from liquidating their products to protect the importers as they challenge Commerce’s final determination because it said the injunction harmed neither the U.S. nor domestic producers.

  • December 19, 2014

    New EU Challenge To Boeing Subsidies Takes Flight At WTO

    The European Union's prolonged battle with the U.S. over the legality of civil aircraft subsidies took another turn Friday as Brussels lodged a fresh World Trade Organization case targeting $8.7 billion in tax breaks granted to Boeing Co. for the production of its 777X commercial jetliner.

  • December 19, 2014

    US, China Forge Ahead On GMOs, Other Commercial Issues

    U.S. trade officials wrapped up a three-day summit with their Chinese counterparts late Thursday, touting progress on a slew of bilateral commercial irritants, including Beijing's anti-monopoly enforcement, approval of genetically modified foods, and certain intellectual property rules.

  • December 18, 2014

    20 States Climb Aboard Syngenta GMO Corn Class Actions

    Illinois, Colorado, Minnesota and 17 other states have joined class actions in Kansas and Missouri filed by corn farmers, grain exporters and others who accuse Syngenta Corp. of “tainting” the U.S. corn supply with genetically modified seed before China gave import approval.

  • December 18, 2014

    WTO Expands Chinese Solar Panel Duty Ruling Against US

    The World Trade Organization further cemented its rebuke of U.S. countervailing duties on Chinese products in a ruling issued Thursday, finding that the Department of Commerce had applied subsidies and countervailing measures inconsistently with WTO rules.

  • December 18, 2014

    Motorola Asks Full 7th Circ. To Rehear LCD Price-Fixing Row

    Motorola Mobility LLC asked the entire Seventh Circuit to rehear its $3.5 billion price-fixing case against several liquid-crystal-display panel makers, arguing Wednesday that an appellate panel was wrong to rule that the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act blocked the claims.

  • December 18, 2014

    Sen. Rubio Promises To Unravel Obama’s Cuba Policy

    Calling President Barack Obama’s historic new policy normalizing relations with Cuba “profoundly disappointing,” first-term Republican Florida senator Marco Rubio vowed to “unravel as many of these changes as possible” in a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

  • December 18, 2014

    US Takes Heat In Geneva For Food Safety, Procurement Rules

    The World Trade Organization on Thursday wrapped up a comprehensive audit of U.S. trade policy that saw numerous members take broad swipes at a slew of purportedly onerous regulations, with much of the criticism centering on rules governing food safety and government procurement.

  • December 18, 2014

    Yieldcos Grabbed Energy Project Finance Spotlight In 2014

    Investors were eager to sink their cash into energy development in 2014, most notably helping renewable-heavy yieldcos become major deal makers, but also helping get multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas projects off the ground. Here, attorneys reveal the trends they observed in energy project finance over the past year.

  • December 18, 2014

    EU-Brazil Import Tax Fight Heads To WTO Panel

    The European Union's World Trade Organization case against a slew of allegedly discriminatory Brazilian import fees and tax schemes for automobiles and information technology products plowed ahead Tuesday with the establishment of a dispute settlement panel to formally weigh the complaint.

  • December 18, 2014

    Vale Stuck Facing Trial In US Over Guinea Mining Rights

    A federal judge in New York on Wednesday refused to throw out a suit brought by London mining company Rio Tinto PLC accusing its rival Vale SA and an Israeli diamond magnate of bribing Guinean government officials to steal Rio Tinto's rights to a multibillion dollar untapped iron-ore deposit.

  • December 18, 2014

    Amid Cuban Thaw, Wyden Seeks Details On Sanctions' Impact

    In the wake of the White House's stunning move to begin normalizing diplomatic and commercial relations with Cuba, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on Tuesday sought details on the economic impact of the decades-long U.S. embargo on the island nation.

  • December 17, 2014

    Broker-Dealer Execs Plead Guilty In $60M Bribery Scheme

    Two former executives of broker-dealer Direct Access Partners LLC pled guilty Wednesday to participating in a $60 million bribery scheme arising out of the company's transactions with a Venezuelan bank, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

  • December 17, 2014

    Chinese Student Cops To Military Sensor Exportation Scheme

    A Chinese citizen living in the U.S. on a student visa pled guilty Tuesday to trying to illegally export military weapons sensors to China, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit announced.

  • December 17, 2014

    Avon China Pleads Guilty In $135M DOJ, SEC Deal

    Avon Products Inc. received court approval Wednesday for half of a $135 million settlement to end DOJ and SEC investigations over the beauty giant's business practices in China, as its unit based there entered a guilty plea to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act misdeeds.

  • December 17, 2014

    ITC To Review Finnegan, Client $1.9M Spoliation Sanction

    The International Trade Commission on Tuesday announced its decision to review the $1.9 million in spoliation sanctions imposed upon Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP and its client for destroying and manipulating evidence in a trade secrets suit.

  • December 17, 2014

    Chanos Beats Wynn Resorts' FCPA Defamation Suit

    A California federal judge on Tuesday tossed casino mogul Steve Wynn’s defamation suit accusing short-seller James Chanos of saying at an invitation-only journalism conference that Wynn violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, ruling Chanos' opinions about casinos in Macau were much vaguer than that.

Expert Analysis

  • OFAC Compliance: 5 Challenges You May Face In 2015

    Sven Stumbauer

    Criminal penalties for willful violations of Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions can include fines of up to $20 million and imprisonment of up to 30 years. Worse yet, a single transaction can produce multiple violations. Given those risks, many boards and senior executives have moved OFAC compliance to the top of their agendas, says Sven Stumbauer of AlixPartners LLP.

  • Top 10 Things To Know About Obama’s Cuba Announcement

    Les P. Carnegie

    While signaling a dramatic shift in the U.S.-Cuba relationship, the president’s authority to lift sanctions is limited in several key respects, say attorneys with Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Changes In Defense Industry Are Increasing FCPA Risks

    Howard Weissman

    The explosion of international business efforts in new and unfamiliar areas with new and unfamiliar people has greatly increased the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance risk for companies in the aerospace and defense industry at a time of budget austerity because of the declining U.S. defense budget, says Howard Weissman, of counsel with Baker & McKenzie LLP and former associate general counsel at Lockheed Martin Corp.

  • What Happens When Legal Aid Cuts Stimulate Pro Bono?

    Kevin J. Curnin

    The bad news coming out of the European Pro Bono Summit in November was the rising toll of heavy cuts to public legal aid in England. From this crossroad, there is a lot to be learned about the relationship between public and private assistance, the direction of legal help for the poor in the EU, and whether the American legal aid/pro bono experience offers a road map for what’s next in Europe, says Kevin Curnin of the Association ... (continued)

  • Another Big Year For ITC: Top 12 Section 337 Highlights

    Shara Aranoff

    This year, the Federal Circuit agreed to reconsider its decision narrowing Section 337’s applicability to induced infringement, as the U.S. International Trade Commission held onto its jurisdiction over standard-essential patents and confirmed its ability to reach digital imports. Meanwhile, the ITC took steps toward better exclusion order enforcement, even as it stayed a remedial order pending appeal for the first time, says Shara... (continued)

  • Russia Sanctions Bill Will Likely Become Law

    Harry Clark

    While the president’s public remarks indicate his reluctance to take unilateral sanctions action relating to Russia, there is a good chance that he will sign the Ukraine Freedom Support Act into law, given broad bipartisan support of the legislation in both houses of Congress, say attorneys with Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • 2015 May Be 'Year Of The Individual' At DOJ

    Timothy Belevetz

    Recent trends, along with seemingly choreographed statements from high-ranking U.S. Department of Justice officials, provide something of a forecast for what may be on deck for 2015. An analysis of that data points to three key areas of focus, all tied to a coordinated effort to shift the spotlight onto individual offenders, says Timothy Belevetz, a partner with Holland & Knight LLP and former federal prosecutor.

  • Top International Trade Compliance Lessons From 2014

    Brett Johnson

    In 2014, there has been an influx of increased trade regulations and enforcement cases, such as the new Russia export restrictions, the fifth largest Foreign Corrupt Practices Act settlement since the law’s creation, and congressional debates over increasing Iranian sanctions, say Brett Johnson and Sarah Delaney of Snell & Wilmer.

  • 3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Hiring Appellate Counsel

    David Axelrad

    In the classic case, a client and his attorney seek appellate counsel after the trial court proceedings are concluded. But these days, “classic cases” are few and far between — more and more, appellate lawyers assist in the trial court with preservation of the appellate record and compliance with the many technical rules of appellate procedure, says David Axelrad of Horvitz & Levy LLP.

  • A Look At The 1st Damages Award Related To EU Sanctions

    Guy Soussan

    The EU General Court's recent Safa Nicu Sepahan judgment is remarkable for being the first in which the court has accepted a damages claim in connection with restrictive measures imposed by the EU. However, it does not open the floodgates, say Guy Soussan and Eike Helbig of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.